Texts of the Protests Read in San Joaquin

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read by George Sutton:

We greet you all in the name of Jesus Christ.
We are here at this proceeding by choice to be considered as Episcopalians and a part of this Diocese voluntarily signing our allegiance as Episcopalians.
The signing of the allegiance as Episcopalians prior to any Episcopal Convention is an unwarranted and unprecedented act especially for already certified delegates from an Episcopal Congregation or Diocese.
Nevertheless, we have come to publicly state our place in this Diocese and because we do have a place, we object and protest the canonical legality of this meeting as an official legislative convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

We will not be casting any votes for any measure or resolution presented at this meeting.

By direction of the Canons only the ecclesiastical authority of a diocese can call a special convention if there is no Bishop. That responsibility falls to the Standing Committee as per Title 3, Canon 13. The Standing Committee has not called this special convention. Therefore, it would be our understanding that any decision made today on behalf of the Diocese cannot be implemented because they are null and void.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

29 Comments
Posted March 31, 2008 at 7:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. robroy wrote:

OK, St John’s of Tulare and Father Rob have made a choice to “remain Episcopalian.” Thus, they need to accept reality and accept the bed they chose to sleep in. They should submit to Bp Lamb because he is the leader and objections to the legality of the convention, the deposition of Bp Schofield, the dismissal of the standing committee, and the selection of the provisional bishop are irrelevant because these are “settled matters.”

This is the Episcopal Church they chose to remain cleaved unto, not some fantastical utopian organization.

...or is it time to cleave the bonds to the oppressor?

March 31, 8:59 am | [comment link]
2. Rick in Louisiana wrote:

#1 - Respectfully that is unfair robroy. I think the Presiding Bishop has turned into a {will not say lest it violate guidelines} and what they are attempting to do in San Joaquin is utterly despicable.

But then having been said those who wish to remain affiliated still have every right to insist that the organization of which they wish to remain a part stick to its own rules. Just because you want to remain part of group x does not mean you have to acquiesce to rank injustice by the current leaders of group x. That is just unfair and spiteful toward those who did not go along with the rest of the diocese.

March 31, 9:21 am | [comment link]
3. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “This is the Episcopal Church they chose to remain cleaved unto, not some fantastical utopian organization.”

That notion, of course, precludes any attempts by human beings at reform or protest or resistance in any country, organization, church, or other entity ever developed by man on earth.

March 31, 9:27 am | [comment link]
4. BrianInDioSpfd wrote:

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.—BCP, 816

Heavenly Father, please, bless, guide and protect Fr. Rob Eaton and the lawful members of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin from the evil and unlawful depredations of the powers that be in The Episcopal Church.  O God, please, turn the hearts of Bishop Schori and Bishop Lamb and all others who make themselves enemies of the cross of Christ and persecutors of his disciples, or who in the name of Christ persecute his faithful ones; open their hearts to the truth, and lead them to faith and obedience. Amen.

Merciful God, creator of all the peoples of the earth and lover of souls: Have compassion on all who do not know you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ; let your Gospel be preached with grace and power to those who have not heard it; turn the hearts of those who resist it; and bring home to your fold those who have gone astray; that there may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.—BCP, 280

March 31, 9:48 am | [comment link]
5. Festivus wrote:

robroy, what it shows is that those who choose to remain are a very small, non-vocal and poorly organized group when it comes to confronting the brown shirt tactics of 815. If you want to suffer for Christ, DSJ-RE is the place to be for CA orthodox Anglicans. And yes, this a valid spiritual response - these folks deserve our prayers for protection as well as for the power of their witness in the darkness.

March 31, 9:54 am | [comment link]
6. D. C. Toedt wrote:

Does anyone have solid information about how many DSJ standing committee members publicly dissented from the secession actions when it counted, viz., in December? 

If that number were enough to still constitute a quorum, then the constructive-resignation line of argument about which I speculated in another thread here would have less force.

March 31, 9:54 am | [comment link]
7. Bill Melnyk wrote:

Once again, Oh come on, give us all a break.  The folks at the convention were finding their way in unchartered waters, trying to reform a diocese so they could, as they wished, remain in the Episcopal Church. (NB - just because you don’t want to does not mean you can’t respect those who do)  The loyalty signing for the convention was just to make sure that everyone there was there for the purpose of reforming the Diocese, and that no one was there with the intent to stir things up, cause trouble, etc.  Give them all a break and leave them alone to put their own house back in order.  Sheeesh.

March 31, 10:11 am | [comment link]
8. billqs wrote:

#7 Yeah, to heck with the rules…  It’s getting in the way of the new thang.  Of course, when it comes to electing a reasserting bishop, as in South Carolina, that is the time for canonical fundamentalism. 

I admit it’s increasingly unlikely in TEC, but one of the main reasons for all sides in a dispute to force an organization to follow its own rules is that one day that side might find itself facing the very rules they previously used to run people over.

March 31, 10:58 am | [comment link]
9. Nikolaus wrote:

We are all in uncharted waters.  All the more reason to pay close attention to the constitution & canons.  When one thrashes about in the water, one tends to attract sharks.  As for the “loyalty oath,” I recall several meetings held by reasserters that requested some form of oath that was met with a lot of howling from the revisionists.  Finaly, as for giving breaks, the PB is handing out plenty to her buddies.  When she stops changing the rules we won’t have to worry about “breaks.”

Slightly edited by elf.

March 31, 11:01 am | [comment link]
10. robroy wrote:

Bill, that is totally naive or duplicitous. KJS and Bonnie Anderson and their new yes-man Lamb talk about healing and reconciliation (BOMRIC). This all about lawsuits. Do you think that the impending lawsuits will be helpful to attract people to the Diocese of SJ/TEC?

How about this, the people of Remain Episcopal tell 815 that they voted at their churches, the people of San Joaquin/Southern Cone voted at theirs, now they want simply to part amicably and not participate in any lawsuits that bring scandal and contention to the church.

March 31, 11:04 am | [comment link]
11. Philip Snyder wrote:

Bill - you cannot complain about lawlessness and practice it at the same time.  You cannot cry “thief” and be party to stealing yourself.  There are two alternatives.  If the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin (with its offices, trust funds, bank accounts, and associated parishes/missions) has actually left TECUSA, then what +Shori and +Lamb and Remain Episcopal are doing is justified.  They are forming a new diocesan structure or reforming an absent one.  They start with the parishes/missions that determined they wanted to stay and any existing officers of DSJ that did not want to leave.  They are justified in electing a new standing committee and they have a quorum because most of the parishes of the old structure are not there.  This step and the fact that business was transacted by representitives of so few parishes in the diocese indicates that this is the de facto position of TECUSA and Remain Episcopal.

The other alternative is that the Diocesan structures remain (with the bank accounts and properties and trust funds, etc.) and only the vast majority of clergy and people have left the diocese.  (This seems to be the “legal” position of TECUSA.)  In that case, +Shori and +Lamb are not justified in removing any of the members of the Standing Committee who have not left TECUSA nor are they justified in calling for a special convention nor does the special convention have a quorum because there not enough clergy or congregations are represented.  +Shori and +Lamb and the clergy of Remain Episcopal are in violation of the constitution and canons of DSJ and TECUSA. 
So, which is it?  Is it A - the Diocese left and we are starting a new one with some of the same parishes - or B - the diocese didn’t leave and we are outlaws?

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

March 31, 11:31 am | [comment link]
12. Chris Hathaway wrote:

In Lido did she thus opine,
“No need to protest, all is fine
As elsewhere, here in San Joaquin
We say what the canons mean
I bid you peace. Now get in line.”

March 31, 11:33 am | [comment link]
13. robroy wrote:

But back on topic. Sarah writes,

That notion, of course, precludes any attempts by human beings at reform or protest or resistance in any country, organization, church, or other entity ever developed by man on earth.

We now have wonderful clarity. The TEO is laid bare in all their brutish thuggery. This is the organization that Father Rob and the people of St John’s, Stockton have chosen. Jake and his ilk are correct, “Get over it”, this is the diocese of San Joaquin/TEC. That’s the cold but present reality.

Another point: I believe about 40 people in the parish voted to remain Episcopal. The church could easily be declared a mission and Father Rob replaced. Given the new administration’s disregard for anything charitable, this should be considered a probability rather than a possibility. This would most likely cause the collapse of the congregation. I have a feeling that no viable church could be reconstituted and the property would be sold off.

I said on Father Rob’s blog that a new vote by the parish should be called for given this new reality.

Please check this comment with a correction from Fr. Rob Eaton: http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/11368/#203335 

 

March 31, 11:43 am | [comment link]
14. TLDillon wrote:

#10 Robroy,
That would be a perfect scenario, but it will never happen.

March 31, 1:15 pm | [comment link]
15. Publius wrote:

The Presiding Bishop has unwittingly given Bp. Schofield and the incumbent standing committee a gift in the property litigation soon to come. I think a civil court can and will consider whether TEC followed its own canons, where two or more parties are claiming to speak for the Diocese and control its property. Let’s review the bidding:

1. The SJ Diocesan convention voted to leave TEC.
2. The incumbent Standing Committee (most of them) disassociated themselves from the convention’s actions.
3. Bp. Schofield resigned fromTEC’s House of Bishops, but no his orders.
4. The Presiding Bishop rejected his resignation so that she could depose him. 
5. The House of Bishops voted to depose Bp. Schofield almost certainly without a sufficient number of affirmative votes to depose required by its own canons.
6. The Presiding Bishop acted as though Bp. Schofield was deposed correctly.
7. The Presiding Bishop organized a rump Diocesan convention to reorganize the Diocese of SJ, and it elected Bp. Lamb as its new bishop and a new standing committee.

In the property litigation about to begin, there will be five parties: Bp. Schofield, Bp. Lamb, the old standing committee, the new standing committee, and 815. I think that Jamesw is right that the Presiding Bishop drove this process to where we are because she wanted to have a friendly bishop and standing committee in the litigation. But how will the civil court analyze this situation? I think that the case may turn on whether the Presiding Bishop’s rejection of Bp. Schofield’s resignation was effective.

If the Presiding Bishop’s rejection of the resignation was not effective, then Bp. Schofield’s resignation stands and the old standing committee became the “Ecclesiastical Authority” in SJ. The protesters correctly noted that the incumbent standing committee did not convene the rump convention and that the actions of the rump are void. Fr. Jake and Mark Harris have said that the incumbent standing committee somehow lost their offices when the convention voted to leave TEC, but they have not cited any authority for that proposition. Moreover, 815’s irregularities in organizing the rump convention (e.g. some parishes excluded) further tarnish the bona fides of the actions of the rump and of the people they elected as the new standing committee, and the appointment of Bp. Lamb.

If the Presiding Bishop’s rejection of Bp. Schofield’s resignation was effective, then he remained the incumbent Bp. of SJ.  It is true that the House of Bishops voted to depose him, but if an insufficient number of affirmative votes were received (i.e. less than a majority of the whole number of bishops entitled to vote, more than a majority of the quorum present at the meeting of the House) then I think that the motion to depose failed. In that case, Bp. Schofield remains the incumbent Bp. of SJ; Bp. Schofield remains the Ecclesiastical Authority in SJ. Neither he nor the old standing committee convened the rump convention last weekend. Therefore, the actions of the rump are arguably void.

The legal standing of Bp. Schofield and the old standing committee to contest these issues in civil court is clear, in part because the Presiding Bishop, in her zeal to punish Bp. Schofield and the incumbent standing committee in SJ, placed these very matters in dispute. The civil court will have a question (control of property) that can be remedied by a civil court. The legal matters in dispute (canons) can be interpreted by a civil court without going into theological questions, much as a court can examine whether a corporation followed its own by-laws.

March 31, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
16. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

robroy, robroy (#13),
You’ve got St. John’s all over the map in a couple of places.  We’re in Tulare.  I haven’t worried about such correction, but there is actually a St. John’s, Stockton, (Fr. Martin’s old parish), and they voted to be a part of Southern Cone. (Elves might want to edit robroy’s comment in that regard; and read further).
Also, you’ve said in two or three places that our family decision was along the lines of 20-40, which is incorrect.  It should be 20-54. I realize to a parish even the size of yours, that’s not much to fuss about.  But that does represent only the adult communicants in good standing as eligible to vote (less about 15 who did not vote for various reasons), which represents more or less the same numbers of a median parish in TEC.  Even with the 20 gone now, if you take out the median parish as not valid to exist as such, you take out 50 to 70% of the congregations in TEC!  Now, there’s an argument you might want to make.  But still, we are viable, strong, in good stewardship, and not going anywhere.  We could NOT easily be declared a mission.
As well, we are not going to take another vote any time soon.  And don’t read into that! 

RGEaton

March 31, 3:30 pm | [comment link]
17. Sarah1 wrote:

RobRoy, you merely reasserted your general principle: “This is the organization that Father Rob and the people of St John’s, Stockton have chosen.”

But since we’ve all chosen to be members of various organizations—the AMA, for instance, and the USA, and numerous other organizations—each member has a right to work towards change in that organization.

Otherwise, as I said above, your principle applied consistently means that it “precludes any attempts by human beings at reform or protest or resistance in any country, organization, church, or other entity ever developed by man on earth.”

If you don’t mean that as a generally applicable principle, then you may wish to rephrase, as in: “I RobRoy deem the organization known as The Episcopal Church to be sufficiently corrupt and horrible such that all those persons who are not sufficiently corrupt and horrible should depart it, with no further attempts at resistance of that organization’s current behavior., a la Hitler’s Germany.”

But then . . . that would be not nearly as pleasant to state as the former more universal principle.  And it makes it rather, er, personally determined.  ; > )

March 31, 4:09 pm | [comment link]
18. Didymus wrote:

Any half-way decent lawyer will win in court against a church that so flagrantly violates it’s own canons.  Tell the PB and her crew to keep after the departing diocese… right between those two walls of water, if you don’t mind.

March 31, 4:51 pm | [comment link]
19. robroy wrote:

I am absolutely not condemning Father Rob and St. John’s, Tulare for opting to stay. And 54 is better than 40. But staying means subjecting themselves to Bp Lamb and the new thang diocese of San Joaquin who show little regard for rule of law or justice. And I would definitely be concerned for the future of this church in this setting. When the lawsuits start flying, they will have little patience for dissent. But I have every confidence that Father Rob can lead them through the valley of the shadow of death.

March 31, 5:29 pm | [comment link]
20. Philip Snyder wrote:

Robroy,
In Isaiah’s day, the temple hierarchy and the Jewish hierarchy were both corrupt and flagrantly violated Jewish law and custom.  In Amos’ and Hosea’s day, they sold the poor for gain and had forgotten God in their temple.  Yet neither Isaiah nor Amos nor Hosea saw fit to leave the faith of Judah or Israel.

In Jesus’ day, the temple was even more corrupt (if that is possible) that TECUSA is today.  The priests and Sanhedrin had sold out to Rome and did their bidding.  Yet Jesus did not lead his followers to leave Jerusalem or Judaism for some purified form.  Instead of leaving and purging the impure, God killed the impure when Jesus died on the cross and Jesus makes the impure (us) pure and gives us new life.  Staying within the Jewish tradition cost Jesus his life.  What better example do we have?

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

March 31, 6:48 pm | [comment link]
21. Grandmother wrote:

Fr. Rob, you know I respect and love you dearly, but you indeed do need to worry about being reduced to a mission.  It has happened time and time again by “revisionist” bishops to “orthodox” congregations already.  So your concern will be not IF, but WHEN, if you continue to hold up the Gospel as you have done.

TEC will either change you or distroy you!  And the best deadline I can think of is GC 09 (if not sooner)  when the disclipline canons will be rewritten.

Please know you are in my prayers, both you and your church.
Blessings,

Gloria in SC

March 31, 7:10 pm | [comment link]
22. wildfire wrote:

Phil #20,

I respect your devotion and unswerving loyalty to Jesus Christ, but your case can be argued both ways.  It was in fact Isaiah who prophesied that Assyria was the “rod of My anger”; “I send it against a godless nation and commission it against the people of My fury.”  The kingdom of Israel was utterly destroyed, never heard from again.  And Isaiah was speaking from Jerusalem, not Samaria.

And Jesus fulfilled and thereby completed the Old Covenant.  That was why, as Jesus himself prophesied, on September 26, 70 AD, troops under the command of Titus, future emperor, destroyed Jerusalem and ended forever the Hebrew Temple-based religion as practiced by the Israelites since the time of Moses.  And the Christians left Jerusalem before the war began.

Speaking as a lawyer, not a priest (or deacon(!)), I would read the precedents the other way.

March 31, 8:14 pm | [comment link]
23. Philip Snyder wrote:

Mark,
The Kingdom of Israel was destroyed, but the worship of YHWH continued.  The temple was destroyed, but the worship of YHWH continues to this day.  The Covenant with Israel was fulfilled in Jesus Christ and we participate in that fulfillment by our baptism.  It may be that TECUSA will be destroyed like the temple was.  I pray, rather, that she seeks her Lord much like Hosea promised that God would seek Israel in the desert again.  I believe that we orthodox in TECUSA are going through the desert.  But the desert is a place of refinement.  It is a place where we God woos us and speaks tenderly to us.  The desert is where we learn to live at God’s hands as He provides manna for us in the morning and water from the Rock (that is Jesus Christ).  I pray that I am prepared for my desert journey.  But I know that I have good shepherds and sheep in my flock - +Stanton, (+)Lambert+ (our Bishop Elect), Gardner+ (my Rector), my spiritual director (who will remain nameless), and a host of friends both clergy and lay that form the Body of Christ in the Diocese of Dallas.  Together, we will continue to witness to the truth and to listen to God in the desert.  I pray that we take, as our example, blessed Anthony and the rest of the desert fathers who sought to reform the corrupt church in their day.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

March 31, 10:02 pm | [comment link]
24. robroy wrote:

Of course, Deacon Phil is correct. The church is built on the blood of the martyrs. I am very happy that Father Rob is providing witness within the church…but it might be very short lived:

For example, Bp Lamb may next week call for Father Rob and St John’s Tulare to sign the deed of the church over to him (I believe Lamb’s successor in Northern California has done this). If they refuse, Father Rob might be inhibited and deposed the following week. (An example of Lamb’s behavior is Father David Miller.)

This is one of many, many possible bad outcomes. Thus, as I said, the inside witness might be very short lived.


This kind of conjecture is not helpful.

March 31, 10:28 pm | [comment link]
25. wildfire wrote:

Phil #23

It may be that TECUSA will be destroyed like the temple was.  I pray, rather, that she seeks her Lord much like Hosea promised that God would seek Israel in the desert again.

Agreed.

March 31, 11:17 pm | [comment link]
26. robroy wrote:

Scenario #27 (this was used by Smith of Connecticut and Sauls) - Selective enforcement of diocesan assessment. The diocese (diocese of SJ/TEO) assesses all the parishes a ridiculous amount for their diocesan contribution. Essentially none of the parishes meet said assessment, but St John’s Tulare is selectively punished and converted to mission status.

I am sure that the readers can think of many others scenarios where dissent is crushed. Again, Lamb has precedence with crushing orthodoxy.

April 1, 6:28 am | [comment link]
27. Chris Hathaway wrote:

This kind of conjecture is not helpful.

Kendall, elves, in what way is robroy’s conjecture unhelpfull? Is it wildly improbable, raising unreasonable fears? Or is it uncomfortably probably, raising inconvenient fears? Is conjecture itself somehow not “helpful”?

What, specifically, is not being “helped” in this?

April 1, 9:48 am | [comment link]
28. robroy wrote:

I did not see the elves comment on my note #24 when I posted #26. We are called to be “wise as serpents.” The orthodox have in the past and continue in the present to have their clocks cleaned by the revisionists. We need to have a little forethought and not be totally unprepared for their strategies that have worked so well, totally undermining a once strong denomination. I merely point out a couple of strategies they might take. Less feeble minds (like Mark McCall), probably can come up with many more that they could work their ill will on Father Rob and his parish. Perhaps, they might mail Father Rob directly by private messaging.

April 1, 10:25 am | [comment link]
29. wildfire wrote:

Dr. Roy,

I have never claimed more than equal feebiliosity with your good self.

Mark McCall
Wise as a dove, innocent as a serpent

April 1, 1:32 pm | [comment link]
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